Unique Accommodations in South Korea – Part 1 (West Coast)

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Here’s my pick on the most unique and amazing accommodations in the western coast and islands of South Korea.

1. Happy House (HH) Santorini 해피하우스 산토리니

Photo Cr + more photos: http://blog.daum.net/j68021/13745232
Korean Website: http://www.hhsantorini.com/main.php
Korean Tourism Website Info: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_2_4.jsp?cid=1730523

Santorini, the island famous for white walls and blue roofs/windows/railings, has been a rather popular travel destination in recent years. Its definitely on my to-go list but it’s a little far and expensive holiday destination for now. I guess this Santorini-themed pension can be a lovely substitute for now.

This 20-room pension was built in 2010 (as seen in Daum Maps) and it is situated along the western coast of South Korea. This place is a perfect weekend getaway and one MUST-DOs is to have a meat & seafood BBQ by the shore in the evening while you watch the sunset. I can’t seem to find any english-writing bloggers who have stayed and written about this place so I guess I might be the first if I get to stay here in the near future 🙂

Room Rates: from 120,000W

Directions from KTO website:
(1) Suwon Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 6.
Go straight for about 140m to the Suwon Station Bus Stop. From the station, take Bus 1004 bound for Jebudo, and get off at Gaegyeongchon (개경촌).
* Bus schedule: 05:25-22:05, 15min intervals
Go down to an alleyway across a restaurant with a yellow sign, and walk for about 15min to Happy House Santorini.

(2) Geumjeong station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 4), Exit 4.
Take Bus 330 bound for Jebudo, and get off at Gaegyeongchon(개경촌).
* Bus schedule: 05:00-22:40, 10min intervals
Go down to an alleyway across a restaurant with a yellow sign, walk for about 15min to Happy House Santorini.

Travel time from Seoul via public transport: 2 hr 30 mins.

2. Smurf Town @ Happy House no.5 

*Accommodation may be permanently closed*

Korean Website: www.hhno5co.kr
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/%ED%95%B4%ED%94%BC%ED%95%98%EC%9A%B0%EC%8A%A4-no5/782832191733871?ref=stream&hc_location=timeline

There are 12 rooms available in this smurfy pension and if I’m not wrong, you might be able to fully experience living in a mushrooms as their ceilings could be quite low and you may have to climb a wooden ladder/steps to your bedroom on the second floor.

If you’re visiting this place (along the western coast), why not head over to the neighbouring island – daebudo to play on the muddy beach and dig clams for dinner?

This place is kind of inaccessible and I guess it would be an adventure only if you have kids.

Directions: I can’t seem to find any public transport to get to this place but taking the nearest metro station is Oido, Line 4, Exit 2. Cross the road outside the station, and take Bus 790 and drop off somewhere nearer to coast before taking  a taxi. Alternatively, just take a taxi or rent a vehicle to get to this place.

3. Storybook land @ Happy World Jongihak Pension 

Photo Cr: http://blog.daum.net/jongihak1111/66, http://maker.so/114

Korean Website: http://www.jongihak.kr/

From the photos of this pension, I presume this place is pretty big and it will seem like you have just entered a storybook. You can choose to stay in a mushroom, a tree house or even a paper crane house.

Directions: (High Level) It is located at Seonjae do (선재도), an island at the western side of South Korea, connected via bridge from Daebu-do. You can use the same route + taxi: Oido Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 1 or 2. Take Bus 790 to Seonjaedo Island (선재도). * Bus schedule: 04:50-21:10, 1hr intervals

4. Aladdin Pension 

Korean Website: http://www.aladdinpension.kr/

When you think that things can’t get even more interesting, let me introduce to you ALADDIN PENSION. This 11-room pension (in 4 separated buildings) seems to cater more to honeymooners rather than families as according to their website, they market this place as “couple pension”. There’s even a wonderful sea-view spa available (not sure if there are additional charges for this).

Directions: (In Daebu-do) Oido Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 2.
Cross the road outside the station, and take Bus 790 to Bukdong 3-way Intersection (북동3거리정류장). + taxi.

5. Gulliver’s Travel Pension 걸리버여행기펜션

Photos Cr: http://www.tour-story.kr/detail.php?number=468&gu=dbd

Korean Website: http://www.gullivers.co.kr

Gosh, when I saw the photos, it seems a little too bling and unbelievable. However, once I saw the prices, I think it is believable. The room prices start from 130,000W per night and the are 18 different themed rooms to choose from. Not all rooms are so bling-bling. There’s a ocean view room which looks pretty decent too.

The water slide is a new addition to their pension. Even though it’s been around since 2008, I guess they have been spending a lot of money to maintain this place or they photoshop their photos really well). I don’t know what’s the popularity of gulliver’s travel in Korea but honestly it’s not a story that registers in my mind but I do remember that he fell off a ship and ended up being a giant in another land.

Directions: (In Daebu-do) Oido Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 2.
Cross the road outside the station, and take Bus 790 to Bukdong 3-way Intersection (북동3거리정류장). + taxi.

6. Fanta Lucia Pension 

Photo Cr: http://blog.daum.net/leeha8/121, http://www.ansaninfo.co.kr/?c=1/6&p=6&uid=1428

Korean Website: http://www.fantalucia.com/

I’m adding this one in as I want to gather opinions on what do people think of these oddly-shaped buildings? I’ve been thinking about it for a while but I still can’t put any symbolic representation. It looks pretty nice during winter right?

Directions: (In Daebu-do) Oido Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 2.
Cross the road outside the station, and take Bus 790 to Bukdong 3-way Intersection (북동3거리정류장). + taxi.

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Thought that I can finish this in one entry but I realise there’s too many places that I would like to share so.. stay tuned for part 2!

Just a short survey, (as a non-korean tourist) will you be interested in staying in these lovely pensions despite the language barrier, lack of public transportation and difficulty in booking?

Most of these places require pre-payment made via korean bank transfer and it’s kind of difficult unless you know someone in korea who is willing to translate and make the reservation and payment for you.

I’ve been thinking of setting up some sort of payment services. If there’s such a service, would you be keen on using it and how much would you pay? Please leave your comments below and I’ll take them seriously before deciding whether I should set up this service or not.

I hope you enjoy this series and I’ll try my best to write Part 2 soon!

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